How to bring our youth back to the Catholic Church

We recently finished work on a pilot video series aimed at Christian youth. The primary end market we had in mind for it is Catholic schools during religion classes. For our Protestant brothers information, the spiritual outcome of Catholic education has simply been that it is a wasteland. Remarkably despite having the attention of students in Catholic schools to preach the gospel every day and for many graduates over as many as thirteen years of their lives, at least one study concluded that 75% of Catholic school grads cease practicing the Christian faith within five years.

So, in other words the content put in front of the students every day for years persuades them that Jesus is insignificant, boring and will be inconsequential in their lives. I believe that in the fullness of time we will come to see this spiritual negligence as so great that it makes the negligence of the sex scandal pale in comparison because in this case we are talking about thousands of new youth every year who emerge from Catholic schools spiritually lost. As Catholics, we believe the eternal souls of many of these youth are at risk.  Could there be a greater social injustice than a blind eye turned towards the youth entrusted to us as believers? These students do not even know the basics of their faith – it begs the question how is that even possible with so much time allotted to religion class every day?

One would think such disastrous results would bring rapid change within our Church – imagine if 75% of students in a black school were found to graduate without understanding the basics of math after thirteen years of school? It would be a national debacle – yet, as Christians shouldn’t we say that understanding Jesus is at least as important as math?

So after literally decades of asking the Church for obvious reforms and getting zero help other than lip service, what are Christians to do?  We decided to try and create our own video content that could be viewed within religion classes at Catholic schools. Each episode we envisioned being less than ten minutes so that the teacher could still have the air-cover of addressing the mandated religious curriculum each day, but the teacher could pause, click a link and for a few moments watch an episode of the gospel being preached, allowing a spark of the Holy Spirit to escape into Catholic school religion classes where such a spark has been completely absent. Most importantly, each episode follows the four-five minute gospel reflection with three minutes of prayer. Protestants will likely be disappointed the prayer is one decade of the scriptural reflection of the Rosary, prayed to the Lord, asking Mary to pray with us to the Lord as our spiritual mother of John 19:27. However, I would plead with our Protestant brothers to try this scriptural prayer because as discussed before at Fatima and Medjugorje among other places, for whatever reason, Heaven appears to place great importance on this scriptural reflection. And know, Catholic schools have abandoned it, which is not coincidental. Included in not knowing their faith, Catholic school grades of thirteen years don’t even know how to pray a Rosary and we see strong correlation between students who pray this scriptural reflection and those who possess a strong faith in Jesus.  Those who abandon their faith usually do not know how to pray this reflection. Further, you will see the fifth part of the series ends by encouraging the students to get their own Bible and begin reading it over the summer.
Please take a look at the five-part pilot below, and we ask that you forward the link to teachers, principals and pastors at schools looking to ignite a renewal among the youth. Ask them to watch one episode of this series each day before summer. And then observe – does the Holy Spirit sink in and trigger questions and behavior changes that they have not seen after an entire year of religious curriculum?